Rio Tinto has uncovered copper-gold mineralization at its Winu project in the Yeneena Basin of Western Australia’s Paterson Province.
The discovery came through an exploration program being conducted by Rio subsidiary Rio Tinto Exploration. Eight reverse circulation and 20 diamond holes were drilled on one of the company’s exploration licenses between December 2017 and the end of 2018, which totalled 13,286 metres.
While the company is still waiting to receive assay results from six remaining diamond holes, results from the other drill holes indicated “relatively wide” intersections of copper mineralization. The intersections are also associated with gold and silver, with vein style copper, gold and silver mineralization beneath shallow cover of 50 to 100 metres.
Rio reiterated that while they consider the results “encouraging,” the exploration project is still at an early stage and the findings cannot be used to estimate any kind of mineral resource.
“What is clear is there’s a lot of copper, a lot of gold, a lot of silver,” Rio Chief Executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques told reporters after the company published its 2018 earnings.
Winu is positioned within exploration license E45/4833, located approximately 130 kilometers north of the Telfer deposit in Paterson Province. Going forward, Rio Tinto Exploration will continue to explore adjacent licenses and joint-venture licenses within Paterson, along with ongoing work at Winu.
Rio has a very prominent presence in the Pilbara region with 17 iron ore mines, 4 port terminals, a 1,700 kilometer rail network and related infrastructure. The most recent addition to the company’s Pilbara repertoire came in early October when Rio, in conjunction with Hancock Prospecting, opened the Baby Hope mine as part of its Hope Downs iron ore operation.
Benchmark copper prices on the London Metal Exchange were down 0.2 percent on Thursday, hitting US$6,494 per tonne.
Rio stocks climbed 1.09 percent by the end of trading on the ASX on Thursday (February 28), closing the day at AU$96.16 per share.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.